What Was She Thinking?September 3rd, 2008 © by Susan Swartz
I know how hard it is for some women to just say no, but when the phone call came do you think that Sarah Palin might have thought to say, “Actually, John, this isn’t a good time.”
I’m all for working mothers, but I’ve never known one with five kids including a baby with special needs, a son headed to war and a pregnant teenage daughter, to take on a brand new full time job that involves constant travel and being on call at 3 a.m.
Perhaps she could have said, “Thanks for the honor, but putting country first doesn’t work for me now. I need some more Alaska time. And right now we’ve got some pressing family issues.”
But really, is she ready to go face to face with Vladmir Putin?
Feminists push for equal opportunity. We want the same chances and choices as men. It’s always exciting to see a woman rise to the top, to especially see young women seek public office, no matter their politics. And to her credit, Sarah Palin has worked her way up from small town mayor to governor. But really, is she ready to go face to face with Vladmir Putin?
A cabdriver in Denver said of the Palin announcement, “John McCain must think that the American women are stupid.” He was referring to the silly assumption, nicely mocked by Samantha Bee on the Jon Stewart show, that all “Vagina-Americans” vote with their lady brains.
Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. Okay, they both have nice hair. But anyone who looked to Hillary Clinton to keep us out of the next war, fix health care, protect choice and develop alternate energy sources is not going to be wooed by an abstinence-only cheerleader for Big Oil who thinks the war in Iraq is “God’s plan,” and apparently so is global warming.
Republicans did get the pop from the media they sought with Sarah Palin, successfully draining the buzz from Denver. Of course, now they blame the media for looking too closely at the woman who John McCain sprung on the world after apparently only meeting twice.
What do they expect? On the eve of the Republican convention, McCain trots out Sarah Palin, a stranger, I bet, to most everybody in the country, and he expects the media to give her a pass and not check her out. Get real John.
The Christian Right is thrilled, which is ironic. The motherhood-is-everything camp which likes to say that a woman’s place is in the nursery not the office, now would make multiple motherhood and impending grand-motherhood a qualification for handling North Korea.
Barack Obama has taken the high road by declining to comment on the unplanned pregnancy of Palin’s teenage daughter. But the rest of us, who are not as high minded, might question Sarah Palin saying that she hoped to keep the pregnancy private. Someone who comes from a small conservative town certainly knows how quickly a high school pregnancy becomes everybody’s business. And now she’s allowed the whole world to gossip about her daughter.
Is it sexist to expect more of a woman candidate than a man? No, it’s realistic.
We are still bumping against that ceiling and need the best and the most wise and worldly women to crack it.
As far as wanting someone with excellent mothering credentials to work with your president, look to Michele Obama.
Listen to What Was She Thinking on KRCB’s Another Voice.